I know some of you are contemplating canning tomatoes this year. I hope you are able to take on that challenge, if for no other reason than you will be able to enjoy cream of tomato soup next winter with the fruits of your labor. Next week we will have a kind of tomato celebration here on the blog. I will be talking about canning - tomatoes in particular. But if canning isn't going to happen for you this year - let me suggest the all-time easiest way to preserve some tomatoes. And after that - a recipe for cream of tomato soup.
FREEZING TOMATOES - THE "IT IS TOO HOT AND I HAVE NO TIME IS NOT AN EXCUSE" METHOD
1. Obtain desired quantity of ripe flavorful tomatoes (CSA members can order tomatoes for preservation from Featherstone Farm "Putting Up Group" - 507-864-2400. See the last e-newsletter for an online order form. Monday afternoon is deadline for this coming week.)
2. Wash tomatoes. Cut into halves or quarters. Arrange tomatoes in one layer on a baking sheet (I recommend some wax or parchment paper on the sheet to avoid sticking).
3. Place sheet in freezer - no need to cover - until tomatoes are frozen and solid.
4. Bag up frozen tomatoes in freezer bags. Repeat until tomatoes are used up.
5. When it is time to cook with the tomatoes, the skins will slip right off when they thaw. You can chop or puree them when they are partially thawed. Great for tomato soup or sauces
Here is a great way to use some of your canned or frozen tomatoes.
|Presentation matters. Soup in pottery bowl, with wooden spoon|
3 T butter or olive oil or a combination
3 T flour
2 t. finely minced fresh garlic or 3 T. finely chopped onion or shallots
1 cup milk (skim, lowfat or whole), heated but not boiled
1/2 t salt, 1/4 t. pepper, 1 t. sugar - white or brown
1 quart home canned tomatoes
1 quart skinned frozen tomatoes, thawed, finely chopped or pureed and cooked 5-10 minutes
1 quart (32 oz.) good quality commercially canned whole or crushed tomatoes